"The success of America’s competitiveness is a direct function of the quality of our children’s education from pre-K to college and beyond. Our children deserve safe classrooms, qualified teachers, the option to choose the school that will best meet their individual needs, and the financial tools to make higher education – whether college or technical training – a reality for those who choose to pursue it.”
- Congressman Randy Forbes
Expanding Access and Affordability of College Education
Congressman Forbes has consistently voted to increase access and affordability of college education for our nation’s families by increasing the maximum Pell Grant award per student from $5,800 to $9,000, lowering student loan interest rates from 6.8% to 3.4%, and providing grants to promising students who commit to teaching in high-need subjects. Congressman Forbes has also supported a college tax credit, which would provide a permanent tuition deduction up to $4,000 for college education.
Supporting State Flexibility In No Child Left Behind
Congressman Forbes has supported legislation that would relieve Virginia schools from the sanctions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for schools that are deemed "failing" under NCLB. Schools would be eligible for this waiver if they meet particular criteria and receive approval from the Governor. Virginia's Standards of Learning (SOL), the state's yearly progress standards, have proven successful in academic standards and student testing. Meeting both federal and state standards often becomes repetitive and expensive for states that already employ state standards that are often higher than the federal requirements.
Giving America’s Youngest a ‘Head Start’
Congressman Forbes has voted to support Head Start programs, the nation’s primary early childhood development program for low-income youth. In order to strengthen Head Start, Congressman Forbes has supported legislation that emphasizes school preparation for disadvantaged children, strengthens academic quality standards and improves the management and transparency of the Head Start program.
Working to Increase Funding for Schools Impacted By BRAC
Congressman Forbes has fought to increase funding for the Impact Aid program, which provides funds to school districts across the nation that experience increased expenditures due to the enrollment of federally connected children, including military dependent children or that have lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt Federal property. Congressman Forbes also introduced policy provisions that were passed by the House of Representatives to accelerate funding for school districts facing a large influx of students.
Supporting Parental Choice in Education
All parents should have the ability to choose which school is right for their child to receive a quality education. By allowing parents to choose between home schooling, public schools, state-funded scholarship programs, charter schools, or magnet schools, we are putting education back in the hands of parents and creating equal opportunity in education.
Encourage Math and Science Education
Congressman Forbes has supported legislation that establishes science, mathematics, engineering, technology, research, and training programs for young scientists and engineers. These programs are the foundation to ensure that the next generation of high-tech industries and products are developed in the United States and that we maintain our global competitiveness. Additionally Congressman Forbes has supported programs to increase the number of U.S. math and science teachers by 10,000 each year through scholarships to students who commit to becoming science or math teachers at elementary and secondary schools upon completion of their degrees.
Closing the Digital Divide at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Congressman Forbes introduced legislation passed by the House that will bridge the digital divide at HBCUs by enabling these institutions to offer students the same access to technology as their peers at other institutions of higher learning.
Protecting In-State Tuition for Military Dependents
Congressman Forbes has worked to ensure that the children of our military families have the same access to an affordable college education. He has supported legislation that provides in-state tuition rates to dependents of military service members within their current state of residence, provided they have lived in that state for at least 30 days, and allows the dependent to retain this tuition rate through graduation.
Expanding Options for College Saving
Congressman Forbes has worked to expand options for college savings by increasing limits on tax advantaged college savings accounts and has supported legislation that would create a permanent tuition deduction for post-secondary education. This legislation would allow families and individuals to continue taking a deduction of up to $4,000 for qualifying education expenses.
Encouraging Partnerships Between Schools and Business
Congressman Forbes has worked to pass legislation that would provide a 100 percent tax credit for businesses when they donate items to schools such as computers, microscopes or other laboratory equipment. This tax credit also includes training opportunities businesses provide for teachers, such as externships, related to science, mathematics, technology and engineering.